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  1. Hi, Lou! Thanks for commenting! :)

    Yeah, I find it a bit creepy how much vileness the Ilona Andrews women protagonists (because they’re sure not heroines!) routinely put up with. It feels very much to me like the authors (it’s apparently a husband-wife team) don’t really like their characters, you know? Though I confess I find that a nicer thought than the equally valid one of ‘perhaps the authors in reality just hate women!’ Either way… I just don’t like any of the women protagonists… and for me that’s absolutely fatal for continued interest in a series.

    I’m also not a fan of the constant deux ex machinas the women protagonists cart around with them. Like… can’t the authors write a story where the people themselves are what’s really important? It’s for that reason that I’ve no desire whatsoever to read the innkeeper series you mentioned, frex.

  2. I have only read the first of the Kate Daniels series. I was not as impressed with it as I was the Innkeeper series, and it, too, wore out quickly for me.

    I didn’t analyze them as closely as Collie did, but in the end I simply decided I didn’t care enough to keep reading. Kate’s kind of unpleasant, and the world she lives in is awful and broken, and everyone who lives there is damaged. I didn’t care about anyone in it. In the Innkeeper books, the inn’s powers were a little deus ex machina, and convenient. I actually enjoyed the fourth Innkeeper book the most, where it was not in the inn, and about the politics of the vampires and the human woman who was struggling with them.

    Having read only the first of the Kate Daniels books, I can say that some of the things Collie disagrees with were there and were true, and the bigger picture of too heavy a dependence on obvious “good vs. evil” tropes existed in all the Andrews books that I read. And for books with women protagonists, they sure do seem to not like women much. And stalkers are not sexy. At least in the innkeeper books he apologized and got better.

  3. Woot, more lovely comments — thank you, Greg!

    Re your enjoying the series: all it says is we see different things, Greg. That doesn’t make you thoughtless, or me right. Take my words with a grain of salt, just like you would anyone else’s.

    Keeping in mind, of course, that I’m the arbiter of the One True Way… no, really! :-)

  4. As the friend in question, I have mixed feelings about this review. Other readers of this review won’t know: I had my own misgivings about this series, which I aired to Collie frequently. But in seeing Collie ennumerate the myriad things wrong with Andrews’s books, I can’t help but feel two things very clearly:

    A) Holy cow, I didn’t know it was that bad! What does it say that I enjoyed this series at all?

    B) That there were parts which Collie spoke about, that were niggling me, but I hadn’t been able to give voice to what bothered me about them. (the last part, about Crest, was one of those things.)

    But of course, this review is not about me. In the end, I’m glad that Collie was willing to take a chance on the books: even when she doesn’t like a book I ask her to review, I still come away having learned something. This is very true in this case. Breaking away from the male gaze and seeing things through the eye of the feminist (or at the very least, a proper reviewer) is something that I’m still working on. But it’s clear, concise commentary like this that helps me take off the rose-colored lenses and see the problems for what they are.

    I’m also glad that Andrews’s books haven’t scared her away from trying other urban fantasy (since its flag is riding high at the moment), especially since there are good authors out there, some of which she is reading even now.

    As for myself, I don’t know whether or not I’ll pick up the next book in the series. Maybe I’ll just get it from the library when it comes out.

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